Coast Guard/Public Health Service Consultant Report

Coast Guard/PHS Consultant’s Report

Sarah J. Arnold, MD, FAAFP
Food and Drug Administration

Now that 2016 has ended, it is time to look ahead to 2017 for professional development opportunities. As many of you know, the USAFP Annual Meeting and Exposition for 2017 is March 5-9 in Seattle, Washington. This is a great time to earn up to 30.25 prescribed CME credits through several evidence-based presentations on family medicine core topics, workshops and the ABFM Part II Self-Assessment to fulfill maintenance of certification requirements. Our annual USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium for 2017 will be June 6-9 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is a great time to network with fellow officers, get the latest updates about the Commissioned Corps, and earn CME credits.

For those of us preparing for the 2017 Board exam, be sure to check out the resources online through the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine. Several review courses are available throughout the year and throughout the country.

I recently participated in professional development training within our own Commissioned Corps. It’s called a “book circle,” using the book, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, by the Arbinger Institute. We (8 participants and a facilitator) met once weekly through an online meeting platform for 6 consecutive weeks, in which we discussed the book and how it applied to our daily challenges, personal as well as professional. Our group consisted of PHS Officers from several different categories and different agencies, which made for very rich discussions and provided another way to meet fellow Officers.

The book describes a very interesting paradigm that I have never encountered before in professional or personal development training. The back cover of the book describes this paradigm well:

“Through a story everyone  can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, the authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts to achieve success and increase happiness.”

This training is the beginning of a continuum of training for the Commissioned Corps in developing and implementing an “outward mindset.” Let me know if you are interested in participating in an existing book circle, or learning how to start your own book circle, and I’ll put you in touch with the folks who are promoting them.

Thank you for all that you do. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or issues.